You gotta love Patrick Condon and his team out at UBC. I’m always thankful that somebody is thinking out there and putting things in a different perspective. Obviously, being transit fan, I would prefer the light rail. However, the arguments for better transit South of the Fraser are strong. Existing transit routes tend to be circuitous and indirect. These light rail tram lines would be direct from centre to centre. This could be accomplished with express buses if you wanted the service quicker. Then, you can gradually replace them with streetcars/trams which would give a smoother, more enjoyable ride.
A tram system as envisioned by the UBC team would help a lot more people move around than a single Port Mann Bridge. Don’t forget that the actual bottleneck is not just the bridge, but also the approaches to the bridge and highway. I’m sure there’s gridlock in and around Guildford and the other onramps along Highway 1 because that’s where the problem starts. Stephen Rees has hashed through better uses of existing infrastructure such as bus queues and onramp management (as currently exists for one or two Highway 1 onramps in Coquitlam).